Kids Only!Posted: August 7, 2012
In my personal experiences as a child who turned into an adult, and my observations as a nanny I have found that there are many different instances that are child specific. By the phrase “child specific” I mean that it is only socially acceptable when a child does something, or certain situations are only adaptable when a child comes into play.
For a real life example, look no further than your author, Miss Cheryl. For some reason I have almost unlimited patience. However this patience is reserved specifically for children, not adults. I have about the same length of fuse as anyone when it comes to people past childhood, a shorter or longer fuse, depends on which adult is lighting it. But for some reason with children I don’t rattle easily. It’s a personal trait I hold very valuable to my profession. When a child is whiny or difficult my tactic is always patience first, before deciding on my next move. I know it’s difficult being a child, hard being a baby, I sympathize, but more importantly, I empathize, and my patience level maintains. There have been days when my patience has been massively tried, and on those days, I keep my cool with my child specific patience until I leave…and then cry in my car on the way home. For whatever reason, I have been granted a gift that makes it possible for me to hold it in until I’m alone. Whatever the reason, my charges(whether they know it or not) and I are eternally grateful! Patience is indeed a virtue, but it is one that, by me, is not evenly dispensed.
Other examples can be seen on any given day. When a baby or child stares at you in line at the grocery store, or at the park, it’s cute. They stare at you until you make eye contact then they’ll smile or stare back expectantly, waiting for you to engage or amuse them. Now imagine this same exchange between two adults. Goo! If another adult stared at me for any length of time, I would assume I had something on my face, shirt, or to fear. An adult not breaking eye contact is creepy, unless it’s a smoldering film star in which case, Hello!
Adults will engage in behaviors that would ordinarily be prohibited by pride, cool factor, or concern over one’s sex appeal, if asked to do so by a child. I’ve seen fathers who are business savvy, masculine dudes until their child walks into a room, then it’s all goofy faces, big smiles, and silly voices. And many a tired mother has walked in exhausted, but once she sees her children after being apart from them, she perks up and without a thought to herself, asks about their day, wanting every detail.
It is the world of the child specific that I revel in, wishing that more of my child specific patience could be translated to adults, who on any given day try my patience much more than most children. And I try to look at things from a child specific perspective, watching the children at play, and thinking, “Yep that’ll be cute for a few more years.”